Independent candidate switches to Democrat
Less than three weeks after filing to run for Pasco Tax Collector as a non-partisan candidate, 28-year-old Marisol Rodriguez switched her affiliation and now is running as a Democrat.
Rodriguez, a tax professional at H&R Block, had been a member of the Democratic Party, but said she last month she figured it was safer to run as an independent.
“I’ve noticed voters are not very partial to Democrats here,’’ she told the Tampa Bay Times in a Feb. 24 interview. “Our last governor was Republican and switch to Democrat and they gave him hell for it. I’m trying to steer away from that kind of controversy.’’
Sixteen days later, she changed his candidate designation to Democrat. This is her first run for public office. Neither Rodriguez nor Democratic Party Chairman Michael Lebetter were available for immediate comment.
Incumbent Tax Collector Mike Fasano has not yet filed his candidacy papers, but has said he will seek re-election. Gov. Rick Scott appointed Fasano him to the job in August 2013 following the death of longtime Tax Collector Mike Olson. Fasano ran unopposed in 2014 to complete the remainder of that term.